Originally known as Bitsquare, Bisq is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange running on decentralized network. While they have the possibility of fiat money transfers, they clearly demonstrated their vision as a bitcoin exchange service, rather than a mainstream exchange like Coinbase.
Bisq is not a cryptocurrency exchange in the common sense of the word. Is more like a decentralized organization providing an open-source app where users can connect and exchange cryptocurrencies. The trading process on Bisq is quite different from the majority of centralized exchanges where all transactions are happening on the company’s servers rather than on Blockchain. When you initiate transaction on centralized exchange the transfer only occurs between the company’s user’s accounts and therefor are processed by company’s servers. While this may give some advantage due to implementation of functional trading software, some people might not feel comfortable with the level of authority the give to the company running the exchange.
Bisq is something completely different. Bisq connects buyers and sellers of Bitcoin (and other digital currencies) on a trading network running on blockchain technology. Though this may sound inferior comparison to trading technologies provided by traditional centralized exchanges, blockchain gives users a significant degree of anonymity and makes hacks close to impossible. When trading on Bisq you share some information only with the counterparty of the transaction.
On the other hand, every change on the decentralized Bisq network has to be recorded on its own blockchain. This makes the project very inconvenient for active traders, as a small fee is even charged when placing an order (even before it’s filled).While being a lot more complicated than traditional exchanges, like Binance or Coinbase, Bisq is very highly praised by customers. The loyal fan-base may not be huge, but definitely appreciates the service provided by the platform.
The Bisq trading platform is provided in the form of standalone desktop application. The app is light on computer hardware and runs very hast. But it has very limited functionality. There is literally nothing there aside from basic charting and history of transactions.
While providing generally satisfactory trading environment, it is obviously lagging behind other platforms and might not be suitable to professional traders who are used to trading stations like MT4.
Fees at Bisq deserve a separate discussion. Belo is the actual quote from there FAQ.
Trading fees are based on trade amount and distance to market price. Min. fee (MinFee) = 0.0002 BTC, default fee (DefFee) = 0.002 BTC, amount factor (AF) = 1/BTC, market price factor (MF) = square root of percent value (e.g. 1% -> 1, 9% -> 3, 0.01% -> 0.1). Trading fee = max(MinFee, DefFee * amount * AF * MF). E.g. 0.002 BTC for 1 BTC trade at 1% market price distance.
In other words, the amount you pay is depending on the size of the order. You will pay a fee of 0.002 BTC for buying 1 BTC at a market price.
Deposits and withdrawals
The payment methods supported by Bisq include a variety of Bank Transfers, Zele (ClearXchange), OK Pay, Perfect Money, AliPay and even US Postal Money Orders. But being a decentralized peer-to-peer network there is no centralized method how money can be withdrawn. The actual payment from buyer to seller happens manually, depending on what type of payment method the parties have agreed before trade. For example, you may wish to sell BTC from your wallet for EUR. In this case you as the first party may share your EUR bank account details to the trading counterparty and finalize the transaction. In this case, your bitcoin wallet will be debited with BTC while your bank account will be credited with EUR.
Is Bisq Safe
Being a decentralized peer-to-peer network running on blockchain technology, there is simply no way how this organization can be involved in fraudulent activities. As you may have already understood, there is no particular organization behind Bisq – traders are not running on company’s serves ( as there is no company involved here) and deposits and withdrawals are happening between users based on whichever method was agreed beforehand. The underlying blockchain technology facilitates the safety of all transactions and after spending some time doing some asking around we have found nothing which might put Bisq from negative side.
- Instantly accessible – no need for registration or approval from a central authority.
- Decentralized – there is no single point of failure. The system is peer-to-peer and trading can not be stopped or censored.
- Safe – Bitsquare never holds your funds. Decentralized arbitration system and security deposits protect traders.
- Private – no one except trading partners exchange personally identifying data. All personal data is stored locally.
- Inferior trading platform
- Confusing fee structure